Security Alert: Cash App Scam

Beware of using 3rd party payment apps to pay people you don’t know.

In Brief

Cash App scams are on the rise recently. Although Cash App, Venmo, PayPal, and other similar apps are convenient ways to pay people and businesses, we are seeing many instances of members who are being victimized because they are being tricked into paying people they don’t know.

These services do not belong to CAP COM or any other financial institution. Scammers are trying to convince users that Cash App is a subsidiary of CAP COM (or whatever credit union or bank you use).

CAP COM’s risk department is hearing about two types of scam stories.

The first story goes something like this:

  • You’re playing a game on your phone and click on an ad, or you’re looking for sale items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
  • You use Cash App to make the purchase, but the payment doesn’t go through. You are prompted to try again. Perhaps multiple times.
  • Before you know it, you’ve sent several transactions to a scammer who has created illegitimate online ads with fake merchandise to “sell” to you.

A second common scenario plays out like this:

  • You receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from a legitimate company, such as Amazon or Microsoft or even Cash App customer care.
  • They’ve noticed strange activity on your account.
  • They ask if you’ve made a transaction. You reply no.
  • They say something like, “We can fix this for you.”
  • You are instructed to use or download Cash App to transfer a small amount of money to test the process. You’re told it has failed and to try again with a larger amount.
  • Once the money goes into your Cash App account, you are instructed to send the money to an individual. You are then told that it failed.,
  • You are told to try again with a new transfer.
  • You end up losing thousands of dollars.

Important Notes

  • Cash App does not have a customer service phone number, so if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Cash App, that’s an immediate red flag. The only ways to communicate with Cash App are through its app or its website.
  • If it’s too good to be true, then there’s probably a scam behind the deal. Cyber criminals do just about anything to get you to make a purchase, including offering gift cards or “designer” merchandise.
  • Always beware of incoming phone calls offering deals or pressuring you to decide quickly. Scammers want you to fall for tricks quickly and move on.
  • Cash App accepts money directly through your account but also through debit cards and credit cards. Just because you’ve tied your Cash App payments to a debit or credit card does not mean that VISA® or other card services can protect you. When you use a payment app, you’re actually making two separate transactions – from your financial institution to Cash App and then from Cash App to the vendor that’s selling the product you want to buy.
  • Money transfer services do not provide goods, only a transaction service.
  • You can use the CAP COM app to pay other members, such as a relative, via a transfer. You can also pay other people through the Popmoney section of our app.

What to Do

  • Use only trusted sources for making online payments. Don’t use Cash App and similar payment apps to send money to someone you don’t know.
  • If you do send money to people you know, make sure you're sending money to the right person. Double-check their email address, phone number, or username.
  • Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) so they can use the information to build cases against scammers.

Additional Resources

Visit our online Security Center for more fraud prevention tips, including a scam tracker and guidance from the FTC.